PEKIN, Ill. (WMBD) — Incumbent U.S. Sen. Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) has a new challenger for her U.S. Senate seat in 2022.

Republican candidate Allison Salinas, who said she is also known as the “Back the Blue girl,” said her focuses will be on immigration, healthcare, infrastructure, and education.

“The thing that makes me stick out from Tammy Duckworth, and/or my opponent Peggy Hubbard, is I actually have a platform with solutions,” Salinas told Matt Sheehan during On the Record.

When asked about hosting multiple pro-police rallies in the Peoria area, Salinas said she hates the current call for reform in law enforcement.

“I’ve spoken to several officers and task force members. It’s horrible,” Salinas said. “It literally puts the handcuffs on the police. That’s not our agenda, that’s not what we’re designed to do. That’s not how this society is supposed to work. They’re there to protect us, they have a job to do. It’s hard enough already. I’m all for body cams on police because it does protect the police as well as the person they’re interacting with. But the problem is, it’s tying their hands so much that they don’t have any ground to stand on.”

Salinas referred to the recent police reform bill passed in Illinois and signed by Gov. J.B. Pritzker, also known as HB 3653.

“When they’re writing their report, they can’t go back and view the footage at all. They’re not allowed to. If they make a mistake, now it’s a felony. It’s ridiculous, it’s absurd to think that all these ties and restrictions are put on law enforcement. Number one, they’re risking their lives. They don’t know if they’re coming home for dinner tonight,” Salinas said.

Regarding immigration, Salinas explained she wants to fix the system.

“Immigration is a huge problem. It’s not just at the border,” Salinas said. “Whether they’re flying in or other modes of transportation — as much as people don’t want to hear this, Trump’s idea with the wall was kind of a stepping stone to start and fix the problem. It’s not that the wall fixes the problem, it’s the method behind it. I’m all for people who want to come to the United States legally, but I have a big problem with “coyotes” bringing in kids who aren’t theirs and using them to get into the country because that’s part of the problem.”

Salinas said it is going to take both sides of the aisle to fix this problem. She said both sides are currently playing “tug of war” on these issues and nothing is getting solved.

“In my platform, I have solutions for immigration. I have ways to tackle that. But it’s going to take an army of both Republicans and Democrats to agree that this is a real problem,” Salinas said.

Listed below is Salinas’ full statement on immigration in her platform:

  • Immigration Pluribus Unum”Out of Many, One Our motto on the Great Seal of the United States is “E Pluribus Unum” which is translated as “out of many, one”. It means that out of many states, we have come together as one nation united. It also shows how the ancestry of our citizens come
    from every nation in the world, but we have blended into a united society. We have over 242 years of experience uniting the world. We are united because we understand that what we have in common outweighs the things that divide us. Sharing that mission of unity with the world is what makes immigration so beautiful! Immigration is one of the finest, and most unique, qualities of American life! Our history is rich with the migration of peoples from all over the world coming here and blending into one great, rich, diverse society! We are so lucky to have inherited such a mosaic of cultures, right here in our own backyards. Our generosity to welcome more and more people every year is a testament to our open hearts. Our quest to continue to bring together diverse people cannot be overshadowed by ignorance.
  • We need to also acknowledge that not every person who wishes to come here is as welcoming and
    compassionate as we are. To protect our great diverse population, we have laws that are designed to allow freedom-loving people to enter, while protecting us from those who wish to destroy our nation and our beloved freedoms. Make no mistake about it, most immigrants love America and want to be a part of our diverse communities.
  • But we have a duty to protect our citizens and our legal immigrants from potential harm. Gangs, rapists, and murderers do not contribute to our communities. They must be vetted and kept out. I am committed to protecting my constituents from harm, whether foreign or domestic. Our immigration system is broken. The process is long and tedious. I am committed to working
    feverishly to simplify the process, streamline the process so people do not have to wait years to get the “okay” to enter. I am open to all ideas that you would like to present to me or my campaign.
  • We are committed to keeping our diverse communities safe and growing. Many argue over the number of “illegal” immigrants we have in our country and what to do with them. I support a pathway to citizenship that is fair to the “illegal” immigrant and the American citizens.
  • I am willing to work with the “illegal” immigrants in my district to help them complete the steps needed to apply for citizenship. We do not have to deport all of them. Nor do we have to give them a free pass. Neither of those solutions is fair. We can find a fair solution so that we all benefit. Together, we can protect our citizens and be a welcoming beacon of hope, liberty, and freedom for the world.

If elected to the U.S. Senate, Salinas said the first thing she would do in office is tackle education.

“A lot of people have issues with this, another bill has been passed. Again, it’s that cancel culture. It’s ridiculous and absurd. I did a podcast on this very topic, I had a Democrat on there, Mark, a very nice gentleman. We actually came up with a solution in the span of my show, thirty minutes, which they couldn’t figure out in God knows how many years,” Salinas said.

“I don’t think parents should be forced to have their kids learning something they’re not comfortable learning,” Salinas said. “It’s vital to learn about the past, but forcing them in such a way to where people are having to apologize for their race and so forth, is ridiculous.”

She said she wants to take education back to the “old school” way of thinking when people said the Pledge of Allegiance, “we were nice to each other, we played on the playground nicely,” the 43-year-old Salinas said.

“I don’t believe government believes in three things. Education, churches, and your healthcare,” Salinas said.

The biggest challenge Salinas thinks Illinois faces is taxes.

“People are leaving Illinois, it’s a fact,” Salinas said. “Darren Bailey has some great ideas. He’s running for governor, I completely back him,” Salinas said. “We have to look at why money isn’t coming into Illinois properly and which direction it needs to go as far as money being dispursed.”

“We’re being taxed to death, literally. It’s not making anyone want to stay.”

Allison salinas | running for u.s. senate

Salinas said when talking to constituents, they are constantly asking her if she will support the continuation of tax hikes.

One of Salinas’ main points of her platform is infrastructure. Listed below is her full statement on the subject:

  • Some of our critical nation’s infrastructure sectors consist of our aviation, bridges, dams, drinking water, energy, levees, ports, public parks, rails, roads, schools, wastewater, and waterways. Many of these infrastructure components are at or have passed their design life. This means that if a particular system was designed for 50 years, that system is at, or older than, 50 years. This means that many of our infrastructure components could fail at any moment. This presents a grave danger to the American public.
  • According to the 2017 Infrastructure Report Card, we need to invest $2 TRILLION over the next 10 years, or $200 Billion per year to repair our aging infrastructure. This is a lot of money, but it is money that will pay immeasurable dividends over the next 50 – 100 years. Although the cost is high, this investment will spur a massive employment market because we will need a lot of Americans to do the work to fix and replace our crumbling infrastructure. The lives preserved, the cargo saved, the money saved from lawsuits and vehicle repairs that will be prevented, and the health benefits and medical cost savings from improved drinking water and proper wastewater disposal will save money for every American. The current administration has already made great strides in improving our infrastructure. But we need to do a lot more.
  • One of my biggest concerns is quality. It does us no good if we replace our infrastructure with cheap products and materials. We need to ensure that we are using high-quality products that are designed to last 50 – 100 years, with a preference on lasting closer to 100 years.
  • Another major concern for me is when federal money is given to a State or Agency to manage the infrastructure projects, that State or Agency needs to account for every penny of that money. Congress needs to have oversight to ensure that the State or Agency is not doing the work cheaply and pocketing the rest of the money.
  • Infrastructure is vital to each American. It is one of the best ways we can invest in the health and safety of our beloved citizens.

Lastly, Salinas has a focus to change the healthcare system as well. Below is her full statement on her views on healthcare.

  • Currently, the government mandates government-run healthcare such as Obamacare and universal healthcare.
  • While there might be some good points to this, I believe private companies
    provide a fair and free market to the public and allow for choice and incentives.
  • To reinvent our health care system, we must ensure that there are funds available for the new plan. This requires us to separate healthcare from employment by stipulating that the company would no longer provide health insurance for their employees paid by the company.
  • However, there MUST be a key requirement that the company would be required to funnel 80% of their “healthcare savings” back to their employees in the form of higher wages and salaries to an employee paid private insurance.
  • Upon winning the U.S. Senate race, I will work hard to implement this idea.

Salinas said she is hosting a gala on Friday, April 2 that will feature a “For the men and women in uniform” theme. The event will raise money for the Effingham Police Department and Brownstown Fire Department.

The gala will be held at The Thelma Keller Convention Center in Effingham, IL.

Ticket prices are $125/ general admission and $75 admission for a discounted price for all individuals in uniform. Attendees of the event will enjoy a dinner and dessert meal, a silent auction, a raffle, and entertainment by Ashley Bean, Charlotte Sass, Langston Jackson, and more. There will be a surprise headliner for the event.

Salinas said the money raised at the gala will provide funds for body cams, vests for both officers and dogs, and funds for updated equipment for the listed fire department.